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Air France GP7200-Powered A380 Takes First Flight


TOULOUSE, France.- The first Air France A380, powered with Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, successfully completed a 4-hour inaugural test route flight from Airbus, Toulouse on Feb. 12, 2009. The aircraft flew to Airbus Hamburg on Feb. 16, where it will be painted in Air France livery, and its interior will be customized for the airline. The A380 is scheduled for delivery to Air France in October.

The aircraft is the first of 12 A380s Air France has on order, and all 12 will be powered with Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. Air France is the second customer for the joint venture company of GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney, whose GP7200 engines entered service with Emirates last August.

“This first flight represents another milestone in the GP7200 program,” Engine Alliance President Jim Moravecek said. “We’re ready for our entry into service with Air France this year, and we couldn’t be more excited about working with them"

The GP7200 is derived from two successful wide body engine programs, the GE90 and the PW4000. The A380 meets stringent Stage 4 noise regulations and London’s QC2 departure noise rules. According to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification test data, the GP7200 engine is the quietest engine on this aircraft. The GP7200’s environmental emissions are also well below current and anticipated regulations.

The GP7200 is manufactured at GE and Pratt & Whitney, with GE assembling the core in Durham, NC, and Pratt &Whitney manufacturing the fan module, low pressure compressor and low pressure turbine. Final engine assembly is conducted at Pratt & Whitney’s Engine Center in Middletown, Conn.

The Engine Alliance is a 50/50 joint venture of General Electric Aviation (NYSE:GE) and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).


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